Sharing is caring at bridge

AMONG the slightly competitive players at Albany Bridge Club, it seems sharing is still caring – for the winners at least.

Carole Munro and Jane Ellen have both been playing bridge for around 30 years but have only teamed up as a pair in the past few years.

When they took out the recent Geraldine Sutherland Memorial competition, they had a simple solution as to what to do with the perpetual trophy.

The prized shield and clock would spend six months with each player before Munro and Ellen set out to defend their title next year.

Munro said the pair generally weren’t highly competitive players in comparison to other teams within the club.

“We’ve played together for a couple of years and we enjoy our game,” she said.

“It’s not the be-all and end-all to win a competition, but it’s definitely nice for a change.”

Munro said the club was the perfect way for people to make friends when moving to a new town, and with 104 members in the Albany Bridge Club, there certainly isn’t a shortage of new faces.

“When I moved to Albany in 1988, I was driving past the old clubhouse on Bolt Terrace and went in and introduced myself,” she said.

Ellen said she started playing bridge as a young mum when she wanted something to do to keep her brain working.

Both Munro and Ellen agreed that while bridge was a difficult game to master it was highly enjoyable to play.

“It’s a very complex game but very addictive,” Munro said.

“It stimulates your brain. It’s a card game with an edge.”

Munro said the Albany Bridge Club was calling for some young blood to join its ranks.

“We have a good mix of ladies and men but it’s definitely an older demographic,” she said.

“We have a beginners day on Monday s and no matter your level, people are more than welcome to tag along.

“If you can’t find a partner we can help organise one for you too.”

Albany Bridge Club is set to host a fundraiser for Albany Community Hospice on August 4 from 10am at their Mill Street clubhouse.

The entry fee of $25 per person includes morning and afternoon tea with all proceeds being donated to the Albany Community Hospice.

For more information or to purchase a ticket, contact Pam Minchin on 0419 193 006.

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Pay dirt at Sukey Hill

GREAT Southern motocross riders can take their skills to a new level at the Sukey Hill motorcycle track near Cranbrook following the announcement of funding to help improve facilities.

The Sukey Hill track is the home of the Cranbrook Districts Motorcycle Club that hosted a formal opening of a new scrutineering and first aid shelter at the site last
week during the Southwest Interclub Series.

State Government funding of $200,000 through the Great Southern Development Commission supported the construction of the facilities.

GSDC Chair Ross Thornton said the track was a significant asset for the Shire of Cranbrook and for the wider region.

“Sukey Hill is a quality motocross track that has the potential to host state and national events,” he said.

“Sports venues like this can attract people to events in the region and make a real contribution to the regional economy.

“Sukey Hill will also build the skills and competitiveness of the region’s motocross riders.”

Sukey Hill’s track design was guided by highly regarded New South Wales based motocross and supercross coach Greg Moss who lauded the terrain at the site as
well suited to a motocross track.

The scrutineering and first aid shelter are the first element of a four stage development.

Later stages include the construction of an ablution block for campers, track watering facilities and a clubhouse.

Sukey Hill will host the second round of the South Coast Tri Series on August 25 following Jerramungup District Motorcycle Club hosting the opening event this
Sunday.

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Sport blueprint gets tick

RESIDENTS in the western part of Denmark shire finally had their say on the masterplan for the development of sport and recreation in the shire, which was unanimously approved at a council meeting on Tuesday night.

The Sport and Recreation Masterplan was presented at Council’s June 19 meeting, but was voted down with a deferral motion passed instead, allowing time for residents and ratepayers in the western area of the shire to be included in the final submission.

In their belated consultation summary, representatives from the Nornalup community and Peaceful Bay Progress Association stressed the importance of the Frankland River, detailing the opportunities of the natural resources for consideration for future recreation plans.

Topping their list was the development of a Nornalup Trails Concept Plan to identify existing trails and develop new trails with linkages to the Nornalup townsite and to the Munda Biddi and Bibbulmun tracks.

“Currently, trails are in existence but better identification is required as well as better signage for existing infrastructure,” the submission says.
Peaceful Bay Progress Association also requested the prioritising of a recreation concept plan specific to their patch.

“The need to provide a safe and accessible means to the beach is the important issue for the community,” it says.

The PBPA propose to explore the area immediately east and west of the beach walkway at Peaceful Bay.

“It would include a picnic area overlooking the beach, fish cleaning facilities, graduated access to the swimming beach for people with disabilities, a pontoon swimming area and outdoor gym equipment and playground,” the submission details.

The masterplan includes a proposal for the development of an additional oval at McLean Park, the redevelopment of the Denmark Surf Lifesaving Club and developing a youth hub located in the Denmark townsite.

The masterplan will be up for public comment for the next 28 days.

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Race all downhill for mountain bike club

A DOWNHILL bike race that will launch from Monkey Rock was given the go ahead by Denmark Shire Council on Tuesday night.

The downhill speed event was proposed by the Denmark Mountain Bike Club and unanimously supported by council.

Club president Nathan Devenport said the Monkey Rock Speed Run had been on the cards since last year in the hope that it would be approved.

“It’s only going to be a small scale event to start with. If I got 50 riders I’d be stoked,” he said.

“We’re such a new club so the process of getting the event ready to propose to the Shire has been a learning process for us.

“We’ll have the chance to ride in the amazing Denmark environment.

“We’re pretty privileged to be able to do that.”

Mr Devenport said the club would need to put certain practices in place to stop the distribution of phytophthora dieback and to further protect flora and fauna in the reserve.

“We’ve been taking the Shire’s advice with planning the event,” he said.

“We’ve had meetings and site walks with the sustainability officer, Donna Sampey, to make sure we put proper protocols in place to protect the environment.”

Denmark Police have also put their support behind the race and will put their speed gun to good use to clock contestants during the race.

Shire Councillor Mark Allen said endorsing the club’s proposal was a no-brainer.

“The Shire had a can-do policy on this, which I think is just fantastic,” he said.

With one in five Western Australians owning a mountain bike, Councillor Kingsley Gibson also supported the speed run.

“Obviously mountain biking is a rapidly growing sport, offering the community health benefits,” he said.

Following the council’s decision, Mr Davenport said the club would begin advertising for the competition which will be held on August 5.

“All our club members have been aware the race would be coming up,” he said.

“But I think we’ll get riders from Albany and even a few from Perth.”

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All eyes on skate park

THE Shire of Denmark installed a live camera at the Denmark Skate Park last week, providing the opportunity for users to view conditions at the park in real time.

In recent years live streaming public venues via web cams has become common practice for many local governments across the country.

Shire director of corporate and community services Cary Green said the live stream enables users to view the skate park conditions at any time.

“It’s a popular practice,” he said.

“Surf cameras located at various beaches around the state including our Ocean Beach are great for surfers and tourists.”

Mr Green said the cameras will provide comfort for parents and an opportunity for park users to assess the conditions from home or anywhere they can access the internet.

“We acknowledge that the service may raise some concerns,” he said.

“We’ll be guided by community opinion on the issue.

“We’ll welcome any and all feedback on the project.”

To celebrate the new service the Shire will hold an art competition for a design to be used as a backdrop frame to the live cam window on the shire website.

The competition is open to Denmark youth aged 10 to 17 years old with the winner receiving a $100 voucher to Big Drop Surf Shop.

Entries can be submitted from June 25 until July 27.

For more information on the competition or have a look at the Denmark Skate Park live stream head to www.denmark.wa.go.au/ residents/denmark-skate-park.

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Breakfast, lunch and dinner at Tiffany’s

HER own battle with depression and anxiety has prompted Albany’s Anytime Fitness gym manager Tiffany Kenny to get behind a nation-wide 24 hour treadmill challenge to help raise money for suicide prevention.

Ms Kenny said she got involved with the fundraiser in Perth last year and was keen to run another successful event in her new home town.

“Together we raised around $15,000,” she said.

“I don’t think we’ll quite get there in Albany but we’ll definitely give it a go.”

So far, Ms Kenny has 15 people registered for the event and is calling for more people to get involved.

“Anxiety, depression and suicide is rampant in the country,” she said.

“I’ve had my own battle with depression and anxiety, and I’ve known a lot of people in Albany who lost theirs.

“Supporting suicide awareness and prevention is really important to get behind and get involved with.”

Among the registered runners is Anytime Fitness trainer Red Rogers, who is aiming to jog the full 24 hours.

“He wants to raise $1440 so it’s a dollar for every minute he’s on the treadmill,” Ms Kenny said.

“He’s up to $500 now, which is really good.

“We’re going to set him up with his PlayStation so he can play games while he’s jogging.”

To donate money to the 24 Hour Treadmill Challenge, give Red a dollar for his goal or to register for the event on May 25, head to the Tread Together website or visit the Anytime Fitness Albany Facebook page.

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Entries open for Wavefest

ALBANY Boardriders Club will celebrate the 21st birthday of its Wavefest surfing competition this June long weekend.

The South Coast’s premier surfing event attracts competitors from throughout the state for two days of surfing before they let their hair down for the presentation party.

Club president Peter Bolt said the competition will run the same as in previous years, but the presentation party will feature something a little different.

“We’ll have our usual presentation for the winners, but we’ll also have a raffle for the door prize,” he said.

“Adrian Shepherd from Aido’s Boardroom has made a custom-made surfboard to be raffled off.

“All people have to do is pay for their entrance and they’ll be entered into the raffle.

“The event is open to anyone in the surfing community that wants to attend.”

Nominations close on May 23, which is 10 days earlier than last year so the Wavefest shirts have a chance to be printed and distributed to competitors.

“For the men’s and women’s open competition the prize money is a $1000 each,” Bolt said.

“We also encourage our juniors to have a go. They’re definitely not exempt from competing in Wavefest.”

For entry forms and more information on the 21st annual Wavefest visit www.albanysurf.com.

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Stage set for WAFL clash

THERE will be some familiar Great Southern faces floating around for Claremont next Saturday when the Tigers take on South Fremantle for the West Australian Football League’s commemorative match at Centennial Stadium.

Claremont head coach Darren Harris visited the venue last week and said there would be a strong contingent of former Great Southern players making the trip down.

“A few of our Great Southern players have really come along,” Mr Harris said.

“Bailey Bennett is doing really well and playing really well; Matty Palfrey is due to come off suspension and will play soon.”

Following an inspection of the facilities and playing surface at Centennial Stadium, Harris said he was impressed with the ground.

“You just look at the surface and it’s fantastic,” he said.

“You must be very proud of the facility you have down here.

“It’ll be great to see a big crowd out here watching a great game of WAFL.”

The Tigers will head into the match with a mixed bag of results following an opening round loss and last weekend’s slender four-point victory over East Fremantle, 83-79.

South Fremantle got their season off to a good start, beating West Perth 96-88.

“We’re taking steps in the right direction, but our first game left us a bit disappointed,” Harris said.

“We’ve been working really hard ahead of our Albany game to make our efforts more consistent.”

As a nod to the relationship with the Great Southern Football League as a catchment zone for budding WAFL players, the Tigers will run clinics during their visit.

“We want to do some community work before the game, so the clinics will be great for every kid to get along to,” he said.

Mr Harris said he hoped his club would be able to return more frequently to the region.

“We’ve had a long history down here, so to come down and bring the Albany boys is a great way to give back the community,” he said.

“It’s my understanding that there are plans in motion between the WAFL and the City to make this an annual event for the club.”

Game day proceedings start at 9am on April 28, with kick-off for the main match at 2.40pm.

Tickets will be available at the gate.

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Vikings master the art of mateship

ALBANY Vikings Masters Sporting Club was recognised for its commitment to mental health and sport earlier this year when it was awarded the WA Masters Club of the Year Award.

While the obligatory plaque hasn’t quite made its way through the post, club president Sean Maguire said the club was honoured to receive the award.

“It’s an amazing achievement for us,” he said.

“We’ve grown the club from something that used to have three or four blokes turning up to training, to 25.

“It’s amazing to see what we’ve made available to the community.”

Club secretary Ian Neil said the growth of the club hasn’t been centered primarily on the football club, but also on the development of basketball and netball teams, with soccer and cricket teams soon to follow.

“The focus of the club is fitness and fellowship,” he said.

“It’s about mental health wellness, community development and getting players to come down and get fit and make friends, for both men and women.”

With the core principle of raising mental health awareness for players and in the community, vice president Dave Larchet said the club was also family-orientated.

“It’s not just about coming down and playing footy, it’s bringing your family with you,” he said.

“We quite often get the young blokes come down with their dads on training night to have a run and kick a ball.

“The wives come down for game days to help out.

“Everyone gets involved.”

With the season open for the Vikings football side on April 21 against the Dalyellup Dinosaurs, Maguire said the club would love for people to come and get involved.

“We’ll be playing at the North Albany Football Club. It’s going to be a really good match,” he said.

“We’re not just looking for people to come play; we’re also looking for people to come and watch.”

To join any of the Albany Vikings Sporting Club’s teams, contact them via their Facebook page.

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Heroes hit the beach

YOUNG people with autism will get the chance to feel the rush of what it’s like to surf when they spend the day at Ocean Beach this Sunday with Perth-based charity Ocean Heroes.

The group was started by keen surfers Luke Hallam and Sam Moyle two years ago and aims to enhance the lives of people on the autism spectrum through involvement in surfing.

Sunday’s event is their second trip to Denmark and they are optimistic of building on last year’s effort.

“It was a great day, but we just really didn’t have the numbers that we would have liked,” Mr Moyle said.

“I’m hoping that this year there will be more people registering since everyone had such a great time last year.

“Word of mouth spreads the message very quickly that we’re coming, so I’ve got my fingers crossed.”

Mr Moyle said Ocean Heroes was equipped to cater for a wide range of abilities.

“We get people of all sorts of abilities ranging from speaking to non-speaking as well as high and low mobility,” he said.

“Every participant is different and we make sure they all have lots of fun.”

An average session with the Ocean Heroes involves kids learning how to use a surfboard, catch a wave and eventually surf.

“We’ve got these big boards that the kids learn how to stand up on that we do on the sand,” he said.

“Every kid gets a wetsuit and a life jacket that we bring and they get to have an experience that not everyone gets.”

Sunday’s free event starts at 9am at Ocean Beach and registrations can be made via email at info@oceanheroes.com.au.

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